At the recently held LFW, Patrick Heardman gained the invaluable opportunity of experiencing ‘FROW’ first hand. But is all the fuss around sitting front row justified?
From the front row of BASHARATYAN V’s ‘Heidmork’ show, it’s clear to see why these are the seats that fashion obsessed crave. First there’s your unobstructed view, which has gained a new significance since audience members decided, quite ridiculously, to use iPads as cameras, completely blocking the view of anyone behind them. Then of course it’s the fact that you are visible. Occupants of the hallowed ‘FROW’ relish the opportunity to be caught in its traditional photographic profile before the show by wearing eye-catching threads and ‘statement’ hairstyles.
The show itself was incredible. Emiliana Torrini’s ghostly vocals pierce the air as BASHARATYAN’s models confidently strut out the designer’s latest collection. Influenced by the ‘astounding natural wonders’ of Iceland she named her collection after its nature conservation paradise ‘Heidmork’. This is all great, except I can’t take my eyes off that goddamn woman with the pink hair opposite who insists on fanning herself throughout. Maybe it’s for the best actually, any drop of perspiration would surely melt away her thick make-up coating, and nobody wants to see that.
LFW has been held each year since 1984 and is now regarded as one of the ‘big four’ fashion weeks alongside Paris, Milan and New York. It is estimated that over £100m worth of orders are placed each season with attendances reaching over 5,000. Impressive right? However, despite this exponential commercial growth, it’s easy to question if the fashion week has its priorities set straight.
Unfortunately the majority of ‘FROW’ers seem to be exploiting their position, not there to enjoy the show, but to outshine it. There are definitely those here who are desperate to ‘get noticed’; a tantamount to standing up in the middle of class and getting your bottom out in the hope that someone might be impressed. This tactic may have worked when you were 10, but sadly, you’re now 20. I’m all for openness of expression and experimental clothing combinations, but trying to steal limelight from the models is just a bit rude. You may as well turn up to a gig with your own guitar, get as close to the front as you can and start bashing out bad oasis covers. Not cool.
These guys look really great don’t they? Proper syncopated attires. Perhaps they’re off on a romantic stroll along the Themes to recite poetry to one another, or to an expensive restaurant. Unfortunately they’re just standing there waiting for people to photograph them.
Here, pop star Jessie J is seen powering through the crowds toward the main show area as a mad scrum of fans and photographers ensues, all desperately trying to get a piece. This reminds me of playing schoolyard football with a tennis ball; too many people to get a clean shot and you just end up getting stood on. Tough break. At least she got more pictures of her face than the other two. After all, that’s what it’s all about right?
All things considered, LFW was great fun. I even got a little carried away myself when I got to skip the long queues and be escorted right to the front, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. But I can’t help feeling that the common attitude toward the ‘FROW’ will never change. True, it’s a great place to sit, but please, watch the show and stop posing.
All images taken by Patrick Headman